Objectives

AfricaLics is the acronym for the African Network for Economics of Learning, Innovation, and Competence Building Systems. AfricaLics brings together scholars, researchers and policy analysts who study development, innovation, learning and competence building in an African context.

Initiation

Africalics was founded during an Innovation and development workshop that took place in March 2012 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The workshop was co-organized by the Globelics Secretariat and the Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Research organization (STIPRO), a Tanzanian independent think tank.

Objectives

The formation of Africalics was centred on the following two rationales:

  1. A need to understand innovation and learning in the context of Africa – both from theoretical and practical perspectives.
  2. Given the fact that Africa lacks adequate capacity for the above purpose, a need for capacity building arose.

The overall vision of AfricaLics is to facilitate the production and use of high-quality research in the field of innovation and development with a view to promote inclusive and sustainable development in African countries.

AfricaLics is therefore not just a scholarly platform but also aims to provides a platform for collaboration between researchers, policy-makers and practitioners in all parts of Africa as well as with partners in the South more generally and with partners in the North.

Organisation / participation

Anyone can become a member of the AfricaLics network through participation in our activities and has an interest in conducting or fostering high quality research on the intersection between innovation and development issues and promoting the use of that research within policy and practice environments.

The network emphasizes interactive learning and promotes plurality in terms of research approach, methodology and theoretical perspectives. AfricaLics fosters a culture where serious research discussions take place in an open and friendly atmosphere. It´s activities are based partly on time and resources allocated by members of the network on a voluntary basis and partly on contributions to specific activities from other sources such as universities, government institutions, development agencies and foundations.

The network is open to researchers working in any region or language of Africa although the majority of discussions are held in English.

The network is managed on a day-to-day basis by a Secretariat, currently hosted by the African Centre for Technology Studies, Kenya (ACTS), the home of the AfricaLics’ Secretary General, Dr. Ann Kingiri.

An interim board for the network has been established with Dr. Bitrina Diyamett of STIPRO, Tanzania as president.

Key activities

AfricaLics works to support African scholars, especially early career researchers, to produce research in the field of innovation studies that is at the global frontier and is relevant to resolving developmental challenges of African communities.

Africalics activities include:

  1. Online networking platforms to encourage discussion and linkages between researchers working in the field of African innovation and development
  2. Africalics research conferences – a gathering of scholars located and working on innovation and development in Africa. The conference location circulates between the main regions of Africa from one year to the next.
  3. Africalics PhD Academies – a two week research training for second and third year PhD students studying at African universities.
  4. AfricaLics visiting fellowships – opportunities for PhD and post-doctoral students from low and low-middle income African countries to receive additional training and capacity building support.
  5. Promotion of research activities / projects and dedicated innovation and development training at African universities

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